How a Mold Reproduces -
It's Life Cycle
The Kingdom Fungi is a diverse kingdom consisting
of over 1 million species and includes mushrooms, molds,
and yeasts. Fungi
are mainly saprophytic meaning they obtain their nutrition
from the breakdown and decay of organic matter.
They can thrive in many places such as
soil, plant litter, wood, live plants, dung, animal
remains, fungal remains, etc, and play a vital role in the
environment as a decomposer of dead-plant matter.
Commonly called mildew, molds (sometimes
referred to as "black mold") are a subset
of fungi that produce fluffy or powdery growth on surfaces.
Toxic molds can grow on cloth, carpets, leather, wood,
sheetrock, insulation (and on human foods) when moist
Molds are ubiquitous, the most common
form of fungus on earth,
and may grow at high levels indoors, in a home or
building, if the right
environmental conditions exist.
Factors that influence the distribution of molds are most
importantly a source of moisture, proper nutrients,
temperature, and light.
Carbon containing materials that are
abundant both indoors and outdoors may provide the essential
nutrients for growth. Sources
of moisture, which are usually the limiting and most important
factor. They can come from high humidity levels, condensation,
and water intrusion due to a number of events such as indoor
leaks and floods. Temperature
and light may affect fungal growth, but are usually not a
limiting factor since most fungi can grow in light and total
Excessive exposure to molds can lead to
adverse health issues for humans.
The affects of human exposure to mold is not a new,
emerging problem but has been manifested for many years.
Documentation of mold growth indoors dates back as
far as the Old Testament:
From Leviticus Chapter 14, verses 33-57
the 7th day the priest shall return to inspect
the house. If
the mildew has spread on the walls, he is to order that
the contaminated stones be torn out and thrown into an
unclean place outside the town.
He must have all the inside walls of the house
scraped and the material that is scrapped off dumped into
an unclean place outside the town.
Then they are to take other stones to replace these
and take new clay and plaster the house
the mildew reappears in the house after the stones have
been torn out and the house is scraped and plastered the
priest is to go and examine it and, if the mildew has
spread in the house, it is a destructive mildew:
the house is unclean.
It must be torn down – its stones, timbers and
all the plaster – and taken out of the town to an
who goes into the house while it is closed up will be
unclean till evening.
who sleeps or eats in the house must wash his clothes…..
Molds can cause a variety of reactions in
hypersensitive individuals ranging from allergic responses
to neurological damage.
Molds may proliferate in almost any indoor environment
where excessive amounts of water and organic matter persist.
The key factor in limiting mold exposure
indoors is to prevent it’s growth through moisture control,
maintenance, and proper cleaning methods.
a Mold Reproduces – It’s Life Cycle:
When the appropriate conditions for growth
exist: presence of
moisture, nutrients, temperature,
etc, the mold begins to reproduce via it’s life
are the thread-like filamentous cells that release enzymes
which degrade and absorb nutrients from a substrate (ie.
oganic debris, cellulose, wood, almost any carbon containing
material including human skin).
Upon obtaining it’s nutrition, the hyphae will grow
into a mycelium, the
main body of the fungus which is also the visible portion.
form on the ends of some hyphael cells.
The formation of spores is dependent on a variety of
environmental factors including light, oxygen levels,
temperature, and nutrient availability.
the spores are formed, they are released into the air and
carried elsewhere to begin the process of germination and
growth all over again. Mold
spores are highly resistant and durable.
They can remain dormant for years in even hot and dry
the spore is dispersed to a new area and when the appropriate
conditions exist, moisture and nutrient availability, the
spore will begin to germinate into a new hyphael cell.